Super-Squeaky Supercool Fred Figglehorn Goes to Camp
Lucas Cruikshank may not be a household name, but just say the name "Fred" and you know who we're talking about. Lucas has had nearly 1 billion YouTube views with his infamous character Fred, a squeaky voiced six-year-old kid.
Those billion views, well 934 million views, spurred a media empire. And Lucas is just 18 years old. Fred has spawned the Nickelodeon TV series Fred, which, if you haven't seen it, is far better than you might imagine - well made with topnotch acting. And, yeah, it's funny.
Fred has also led to a series of Nickelodeon movies, including this weekend's Fred 3: Camp Fred (Nick - Saturday, 8pm). Lucas spoke with TVFirstLook about Camp Fred, Camp IwannaPeePee and his upcoming gig Marvin Marvin.
TVFirstLook: OK, how the heck did you come up with the character Fred Figglehorn?
Lucas Cruikshank: I've been making videos my whole life. YouTube wasn't around, but my sisters used to make talk show videos and commercials. I just thought every family sat around and made videos. I didn't think it was weird.
When I was 12, I got a digital video camera as an early 13th birthday present. A friend told me about YouTube, so I started to make a whole bunch of characters. Fred was just one of the videos and people really connected with him.
The first video was for Halloween. I just decided to make him a six year old. I didn't think too much about it. I just made the video.
TVFirstLook: So, you went from an internet character to surprisingly well-made Nickelodeon movies and TV show, Fred. How did Fred go from YouTube to TV?
Lucas: It was a really long process. I started making videos in 2006. A couple of years after the first Fred video, Dan Schneider, who worked on a bunch of shows for Nickelodeon, saw an L.A. Times article about me. He wanted to meet with me. I ended up doing iCarly.
From there, I met Brian Robbins, the producer. We did the first Fred movie and then two more. Along the way, we decided to do a TV show, too.
TVFirstLook: OK, so what's Fred 3: Camp Fred all about?
Lucas: It's about Fred. The opening scene is his last day of school. He's all excited for summer because he thinks he's going to a glamorous day-spa-type camp called Camp Superior.
But when the bus gets there, he realizes he's going to this rundown camp, Camp IwannaPeePee. His mom was having some financial problems.
So, Fred's all bummed and miserable. He's overly dramatic about it because he's Fred and he thinks he deserves the best.
But, then he meets a really cool group of friends. They teach him what camp is all about. At the end of the movie, there's a really cool scene where Camp IwannaPeePee has a competition against Camp Superior. It's a really fun summer movie.
TVFirstLook: The actress who plays Fred's mom, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, is great on the show. What's it like to work with her?
Lucas: I look up to her so much. She makes every scene hilarious. We get the scripts and they're funny. But then she brings something to the scenes that I would never have expected. She's fearless. She's not afraid that people won't laugh.
It's also hard to do scenes with her because I want to laugh all the time.
TVFirstLook: Last thing, what's next for Fred and what's next for Lucas?
Lucas: We did one season of Fred the TV show and then Fred 3: Camp Fred. I don't know what's next. We might give him a break for a while.
I'm starting a new show with Nickelodeon called Marvin Marvin. We start filming that soon and, hopefully, it'll premiere in the second half of the year. We filmed the pilot and it was a blast.
My character, Marvin, is an alien. He comes down to earth and lives with an American family. I'm really looking forward to working on it.